WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives passed a nearly $40 billion aid package for Ukraine on Tuesday by a vote of 368 to 57, which – if passed in an upcoming Senate vote which is expected later this week – will provide military, economic and humanitarian aid to the war-torn European country amid Russia’s ongoing invasion.
The package is on its way to the Senate, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying that it will be voted upon “swiftly” before being sent to the desk of President Joe Biden for his signature.
Of the 57 House members who voted against the package – as well as the additional five that did not vote – all were Republicans. However, reports indicate that some GOP members who supported the package felt that it should have earmarked even more money to assist with Ukraine’s struggle.
Originally, President Biden had requested a $33 million Ukrainian aid package from Congress; however, Democratic House members upped the amount to $39.8 billion.
When broken down, the package includes $11 billion in military equipment for Ukraine from U.S. stockpiles; $6 billion to purchase additional weapons to send to Ukraine; $8.7 billion to replace U.S. military equipment that has been sent to Ukraine; and $3.9 billion to pay for troop deployments in Eastern Europe.
An additional $3.4 billion in new funding for food aid and a $3.4 billion increase in spending authority for military aid round out the package, reports say.
This latest package comes after $13.6 billion for Ukraine aid was included in a March spending plan that was signed by President Biden, bringing the total in US-provided aid to Ukraine in 2022 to over $53 billion.
Previously, Biden had requested that additional COVID-19 relief funding be included in the Ukrainian aid package, a move that Congressional Republicans threatened to block due to a dispute over the ongoing crisis at the U.S. southern border; on Monday, Biden said that he was dropping his request for the COVID funds in order to move the legislation quickly.
“This aid has been critical to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield. We cannot allow our shipments of assistance to stop while we await further congressional action,” Biden said. “We are approximately 10 days from hitting this critical deadline.”